Doninica part 2

David Batten
Fri 17 Jan 2014 00:37
Sunday, 12/1/2014.  Boat maintenance day.  Cleaning and washing and making water until the engine just stopped.  No fuel and not sorted by changing the fuel filter, which is the usual culprit.  Eventually fixed but Skipper still mystified as to cause, so not very satisfactory.  After a good snorkel off the rocks in front of the unfinished hotel, we shower and go to the infamous beach barbecue organised by PAYS.  We meet Manfred and Brigide from Azzura there, who were on both EMYR and the ARC and have very strong rum punch and very good chicken, rice and salad and dancing on the sand.  Skipper’s wife definitely has too much punch and overbalances while leaning over the dinghy dock to untie the dinghy and gets an unscheduled wet.
blogThe Purple Turtle and PAYS Hut, Prince Rupert Bay
The Purple Turtle, the building on the left and the PAYS event hut just behind the yacht.
Monday, 13/1/2014.  We walk to the customs office, where they are a bit mystified as to why it has taken us 3 days to get to Dominica from Guadeloupe, but luckily don’t pursue the matter.  Pm we walk to Douglas Bay and snorkel in the Marine Park.  Very good fish and we see a sea eel, about 18 inches long.  There is a lovely trail from Douglas to Prince Rupert Bay that we find on the way back, past the swamp and unfinished hotel.  We book a bird watching tour in the Syndicate Rain Forest with Martin for tomorrow.
blogThe Swamp at Cabrits, Dominica
The swamp at Cabrits
Tuesday, 14/1/2014.  5.45 am and it is raining.  And it continues to rain as we go up the mountain to Syndicate and as we walk in the rain forest, it rains.  And the birds are clearly taking shelter and not visible or audible and there are no parrots at the parrot viewing station.  The forest is fabulous, but we are getting quite cold and it continues to rain. 
blogThe Syndicate Rainforest, raining
Martin seems impervious to it.  Things improve as we go slightly lower and walk down the road through farmland, with lovely warbles, fly catchers and tremblers, but no parrots.
blogLesser Antillian Fly Catcher
The only decent photograph of a bird all day!  It’s a fly catcher.
It gets better still when we start on the trail to the Milton or Syndicate Falls and we have bananas picked off the tree and the rain stops.  We fail to see the blue headed humming bird but we do see parrots flying around, not close enough to photograph, but close enough to see that they are the Red Necked and their colours are stunning.  The trail to the falls is also quite lovely as are the falls. 
blogThe Purple Turtle and PAYS Hut, Prince Rupert Bay
Back to the coast for a warm up and a hot chocolate!   Then we snorkel from the cruise ship dock at Cabrits and long swim and we feel well exercised. 
Tomorrow, we will see what Roseau looks like and either stop or go on to Martinique.